Gracemere to see year’s biggest run

Check out the Greenlake Station crossbreeding operation


SALE TIME: Mark Davie and Kelly Newtown, Greenlake Station, are hoping to sell one big line of cattle each year. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

SALE TIME: Mark Davie and Kelly Newtown, Greenlake Station, are hoping to sell one big line of cattle each year. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

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From food manufacturing to cattle breeding, this young couple have come a long way.

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THIS week Greenlake Station, Rossmoya, will offer one of the biggest lines of cattle seen at the Gracemere CQLX Saleyards, with 756 mixed sex weaners up for sale.

The cattle will be sold through TopX Gracemere, and principal Brad Mulvihill said he hoped to see the steers make above $4/kg, and the heifers around the $3.20/$3.30/kg.  

Mark Davie and Kelly Newtown said the choice to sell at Gracemere was a geographical one. 

“Gracemere is centrally located to northern and southern markets, and we wanted to provide a volume of weaners as an incentive for buyers to travel,” Mr Davie said.

“We believe the market is strong, however great value can be found for producers in the lines of cattle on offer.  

“Steers seem to be the flavour of the month and we are expecting strong demand for flatback Angus, Charolais, Jarrah Red steers, through to high content Brahmans.

“Given we are a cross breeding operation, there are some lines of broken coat cattle, which could present some good value buying.”

CQLX Gracemere site manager Leonard Coombs said it was great to see larger lines of cattle coming through the weekly sale. 

“This would be the biggest run for the last year or two,” Mr Coombs said.

“It’s very good to see the bigger lines coming through, the market is very strong at the moment.” 

Mr Mulvihill said he has had interest from as far as Kilcoy since he began advertising the line. 

SALE TIME: Mark Davie and Kelly Newtown, Greenlake Station, are hoping to sell one big line of cattle each year. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

SALE TIME: Mark Davie and Kelly Newtown, Greenlake Station, are hoping to sell one big line of cattle each year. Photo - Kelly Butterworth.

The operation

Mark Davie and Kelly Newtown are first generation farmers with a background in food manufacturing, and have been in the game for only five years.

Alongside Ms Newtown’s family, the couple operate at Greenlake Station, Rossmoya, and run a 3500 head Brahman-cross based herd on 7820 hectares.

Originally intended to be a backgrounding operation, the pair have moved into breeding their own cattle for the commercial market. 

Mr Davie said the crossbreeding operation includes bulls from Jarrah Reds and Bauhinia Park Angus in an effort to produce weaners and feeders for both the northern and southern markets. 

“For our coastal property, we believe our role in producing the best steak is to get a good calf on the ground, weaned and ready for another producer to take forward,” Mr Davie said. 

Mr Davie and Ms Newton live on the property, and also run Keppel Brand, the family’s food manufacturing business based in Yeppoon.  

There, they manufacture crumbed sausages and Keppel Dogs (a local version of a Dagwood dog) targeted to the petrol and convenience, and event markets. 

The family purchased Greenlake Station after selling a food wholesale and distribution business in 2012.

Mr Davie said being so new to the industry came with challenges, but coming from a food manufacturing and marketing background gave the family-run business a clear focus. 

“We are not generational farmers, we are new to the industry and commercially driven,” he said.

“We have looked to connect with, and learn from, as many people as we can in a short amount of time.  

“We are enamoured with the beef industry and the people we have met in it.  

“We are true believers in the power of family business, and the cattle industry is full of many vibrant and successful family operators.”

Since Cyclone Marcia destroyed 1600ha of Blue Gum plantation at Greenlake Station, Mr Davie has become focussed on increasing the land’s carrying capacity through pasture improvement, fencing, and water infrastructure. 

The duo are keen to expand and grow the business into the future.

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